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 SSC 371 - International Human Rights


This course offers a general survey of the history of, and in particular the present state of affairs, taking into account topical developments, in the field of the international law of human rights, including its impact upon national legal orders. To that effect Part I is designed to set the stage in that it outlines, in addition to tracing some of its historical roots, the major features of the international law of human rights as part and parcel of general international law. Some of the most complex, cumbersome and at the same time captivating aspects of the international law of human rights concern its enforcement, supervision or implementation. Part II explores the various judicial, quasi-judicial and non-judicial mechanisms for implementation at the universal level of the United Nations as well as within the framework of the regional human rights systems of Europe, Africa and the Americas. Subsequently, Part III deals with a number of fairly recent developments by examining the role of various non-state actors within the framework of the international law of human rights, both as “protectors”, i.e. non-governmental organizations, and as duty-holders/“violators”, i.e. individual criminal responsibility, corporations and terrorists. The final parts focus on civil and political rights on the one hand and economic and social rights in the other, by taking as examples the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion and belief, and the right to health. Students compose a paper, write an exam, participate in a moot court and present a column on a topical issue.




The following course is required in order to take this course:

  • Any 200-level Law course